WHAT CAN A CRANE PICK UP?

Book Title: WHAT CAN A CRANE PICK UP?
Illustrator: Mike Lowery
Category: Children's
Publisher: Knopf
Cover Type: BoardBook
Description:

A rollicking board book about cranes—the kind that pick things up!

We start with pipes and bricks and loads of steel and then move on to funny, whimsical objects: a cow, a Ferris wheel, men in business suits, and an ancient mummy’s case. With a rhyme from poet Rebecca Kai Dotlich that begs to be read aloud again and again, and friendly, exuberant illustrations from artist Mike Lowery, this book is sure to delight kids and parents alike. But watch out: Cranes pick UP—that’s what they do! Look out, or a crane might pick up you!

All hail the crane! It may be a simple machine, but its answer to every question that Dotlich (Bella & Bean) asks—channeling readers’ wide-eyed inquisitiveness—is yes. “Can a crane pick up a crane? It could!/ And billions of bundles of builders’ wood./ How about poles and pipes and bricks?/ To a crane, it’s a game of pick-up sticks.” Lowery’s (Moo Hoo) scraggly handwritten typography gives visual voice to the combination of hero worship and incredulity that drives each question, while his cranes, naïf in styling but detailed enough to hold the attention of young construction aficionados, go about their business with unflappable smiley faces (seldom have two dots and a upturned arc eloquently communicated so much muscular confidence). As cranes work wonders at construction sites, county fairs, ports, and railroad tracks—all rendered in sunny, saturated colors and reassuring black outlines—it’s clear that this machine lives in the best of all possible worlds: where happiness is busyness, calm competence prevails, and no job is too small. Sign us up. Ages 1–4. Agent: Deborah Warren, East West Literary Agency. (Sept.)


Notes:

Mike Lowery via the Lilla Rogers Studio

http://www.lillarogers.com/artists/mike-lowery

Hardcover: 978-0375867262; $16.99

Boardbook: 978-0385753838; $6.99

Bank Street Best Book of 2013

A Newsday Best Book of 2012


Audience: Ages 1 - 4
PageNumber: 32
ISBN: 978-0385753838
Price: $16.99
CopyrightDate: 2012

Reviews

“Lowery’s (Moo Hoo) scraggly handwritten typography gives visual voice to the combination of hero worship and incredulity that drives each question, while his cranes, naïf in styling but detailed enough to hold the attention of young construction aficionados, go about their business with unflappable smiley faces (seldom have two dots and a upturned arc eloquently communicated so much muscular confidence). As cranes work wonders at construction sites, county fairs, ports, and railroad tracks—all rendered in sunny, saturated colors and reassuring black outlines—it’s clear that this machine lives in the best of all possible worlds: where happiness is busyness, calm competence prevails, and no job is too small. Sign us up.”

Publishers Weekly *STARRED REVIEW


“… Dotlich’s energetic, smoothly rhyming text is well matched with Lowery’s engagingly childlike mixed-media illustrations. The images of happy, friendly-looking machines (as well as people, animals, planets, and underpants) are irresistible; the playful hand-lettered verse is full of silly surprises. Dotlich is in full control of the action: she knows just when to up the silliness and when to ease off the throttle a bit. Similarly, Lowery’s subdued palette helps balance the wacky scenes of smiley cranes taking on the challenges in the text.”

The Horn Book


“Lowery's pencil, silk screen, and digital-media art makes excellent use of flat, retro colors-blue, green, brown, gold, yellow, and gray-and seamlessly integrates the type into the design. The imaginative, lighthearted illustrations are the real draw here and will be a big hit with construction-site lovers. They're sure to want to hear this one again and again.

SLJ; Sharon Grover
Hedberg Public Library, Janesville, WI